Categories of Special Interest
Archaeological, Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
In Use As
1190 - 1210
Chapter house and associated passageway or slype, built c.1200, being the surviving remains of St Mary's Cistercian Abbey, set in basement of later warehouse. (50060654) Rib-vaulted roof of coursed rubble having Dundry stone tripartite corbels and ornately moulded ribs. Three lancet windows to east end, now blocked up. Contains section of reconstructed cloister using stones found in Cork Street excavation.
These remains represent the only known upstanding part of a religious house that was the largest and wealthiest in Ireland throughout the medieval period. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 the buildings were reused for non-religious purposes and parts gradually dismantled and dispersed, much apparently being used in the construction of the seventeenth-century incarnation of Essex Bridge. The chapter house roof has the earliest rib-vault in an Irish Cistercian abbey. The chapter house and the adjacent slype represent an evocative part of the medieval architectural inheritance of Dublin and are thus of very considerable architectural, archaeological and historical importance. It was here that Silken Thomas in 1534 threw down the Sword of State and declared himself an enemy of the King, starting his insurrection. St Mary's Abbey was declared a National Monument in 1941.